By Stephen Fabian
A brownfield is a former industrial or commercial site that is abandoned or under-utilized where future use is affected by real or perceived contamination. To help protect our industrial community in the present and ensure it thrives in the future, Evergreen is acting as the lead community organization on a Step Two Brownfield Opportunity Area (BOA) plan. The focus of this endeavor is to conduct a community-driven planning process to determine neighborhood priorities, identify several key strategic sites for redevelopment, and make recommendations for zoning and land use policy changes.
On June 14th Evergreen presented the “Key Findings and Recommendations Report” to stakeholders and the community. This report was two years in the making. Large public meetings, small stakeholder panel discussions, individual interviews, the guidance of Evergreen’s steering committee (which included St. Nicks Alliance), and high level research and analysis on the part of an excellent consultant team all played roles in developing the study
Through the entire study area, Evergreen strongly recommends policies are developed to allow all industrial and manufacturing businesses to increase their height and density, reduce parking requirements, and potentially add mixed commercial uses. To remain competitive, these businesses need to be able to grow in place yet current regulations are too restrictive.
The report also offers many ways to improve infrastructure. The most significant issue is traffic congestion. Options to address it include: widening and repaving key roadways to support trucks, designating additional truck routes with rationalized bike lanes, establishing additional lanes at critical intersections and bridges, and improving parking and loading regulations.
Evergreen will be working with the plans findings and ideas as they advocate for changes. The full final plan will be shared online once it is complete later this summer.
To see the current report visit this page on Evergreen’s website: http://evergreenexchange.org/050117_executive-summary_final_v4-pages